We have two playgrounds.
Our smaller and older playground is wedged between the building and a major road.
No trees and very man made.
Our bigger and newer playground is out back of the building with lots of trees, ferns, rocks and a few mushy leafy muddles.
Our small playground is a great place to find ants in the sand and grasshoppers in the lawn. That is about all.
Our big playground has birds, moss, frogs, grapevines and snails.
Today I had to look twice as I stood on the small playground and looked down at the dirt of the bike path.
The tiniest little Painted Turtle.
Thank goodness the preschoolers were all huddled in the sandbox and not whipping around on the wagon or tricycles.
The preschoolers insisted that we return him to his Dad. They were having a hard time comprehending that baby turtles are on their own once they hatch. They were also just as confused as I was on how he ended up here.
The preschoolers were concerned that he might be hungry. We did a bit of "Googling" on the playground and learned that when they are young they are more carnivorous. This led to a worm search and the discovery of a tiny worm for our tiny turtle. He wasn't really interested though.
At the end of the day a few of us walked down the road to the "beaver swamp" and released our tiny friend into a safer habitat.
He seemed pretty content with all that his new home had to offer.
Good luck little friend. It's a big big world!
Nature's little surprises are one of the best parts of my job. I get to feel like a child again. A chance to be as equally fascinated as they are by the world around us. Taking me back to many cherished childhood memories in nature.
I hope that one day, when these kids are wandering around in the big big world, they will look back and cherish these moments too.